Elon Musk jokes about becoming Iron Man

Elon Musk (Reuters)
Elon Musk (Reuters)

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has in the past been jokingly compared to comic book icon Iron Man.

But his latest move has even the man himself wondering whether he should go into fighting crime.

Mr Musk, who runs Tesla Motors and SpaceX, met with Pentagon officials earlier this week. Neither side has revealed what was spoken about in the closed-door meeting, but Mr Musk has given his 4 million Twitter followers a clue.

Though it's perhaps more likely to be red herring.

Popular Science speculates the tete-a-tete probably had more to do with SpaceX's contract to launch satellite for the US Air Force than a possible career shift.

Robert Downey Jr, who plays Tony Stark -- the man inside the Iron Man suit -- in the Marvel films, visited Mr Musk before donning the suit to get a feel for what it was like to be a wealthy, eccentric tech billionaire.

"Elon was someone Tony probably hung out with and partied with or more likely they went on some weird jungle trek together to drink concoctions with the shamans," Downey Jr told Mr Musk's biographer in 2007.

SpaceX's first Air Force satellite launch, to put a new GPS satellite in orbit, is scheduled for 2018.